George Lucas Educational Foundation

Best Tools for the Job

Best Tools for the Job

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I just came back from a meeting of our Tech Committee, and I was struck by how many of us have developed our own idiosyncratic work flows, but sometimes miss tools that might really simplify things.

For example, by having a classroom bookmark site on a social bookmarking tool like Delicious, Diggio, or Pearltrees, parents and students could access online resources from home, and the tool could be continuously refreshed and shared as needed- much more efficient than bookmarks in a browser, and accessible regardless of what browser or device someone is using. Yet some teachers have never really done this or thought about it as a tool for their classroom, using a wiki, website or other tool instead.

What tools do you use that save you time, or act as shortcuts? What tools would you recommend a teacher try in order to save work or allow greater access to materials? Maybe by sharing these favorite resources, we can save everyone a little time!

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (16) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Adam Fort's picture
Adam Fort
Touch typing enthusiast and educator

Thanks for sharing the resources. Will give them a try.

Zainab's picture
K-12 teacher from UAE, Dubai

Symbaloo is new for me and I think it is what I am looking for since last year.

I watched some videos about Delicious but they did not mention if my students can view my "stacking" if they don't have Delicious account. Any one has an idea about it?

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI

Hi again Zaniab, as far as I know, yes, your Delicious links (stacking as you say) can be viewable by anyone.

Another similar service to look at is - very powerful and easy to use.

Symbaloo is a bit different in that you simply arrange 'tiles,' there is no tagging (which is central to the operation of Delicious and Diigo.)

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Zaniab-
Delicious uses tags, so you can group and kind similar items through search, which can be helpful. Pearltrees allows you to create more tree-structured folders of content and links, and has a handy Chrome browser extension, like Diigo and delicious do, making saving content easy on the fly. All can be used by people without their own account if you provide them with a link. I find them an easy way to create "packets" of links and information, especially after I do a professional development presentation, that keeps all resources conveniently grouped together. Similarly, I also create playlists of Youtube Videos on my Youtube channel, to aggregate useful videos for groups- this could be super helpful for the classroom if you are starting to think about using a "flipped classroom" model at all, and have videos assigned as homework :)

Zainab's picture
K-12 teacher from UAE, Dubai

Thank you very much Kevin for the clarification :)

I watched some YouTube videos about Diigo, its distinctive tool and I like it.

Zainab's picture
K-12 teacher from UAE, Dubai

Whitney, you are amazing :)

After creating an account on pearltrees, I am very satisfied with the result as everything is grouped and organized now. I like its attractive design.

Creating a YouTube channel is a nice idea that I will start working on; it will add a special taste to my classes.

Many thanks

Chris Conway's picture
Chris Conway
Fifth grade classroom teacher

I use, and have for years. My kids have Chromebooks, and we set it as the homepage to navigate during lessons. I think there's a $1.00 charge now, but they will waive that if you're a teacher. :) I don't want to waste precious instructional time while url's are mistyped, so bookmarks are a must! I've heard of symbaloo, but haven't spent much time checking into it.

ilona's picture

a great way to communicate and share materials with students 24/7 is using learning management systems (LMS) there are free (moodle), not expensive (JoomlaLMS) or expensive (BlackBoard)
they work like frameworks for all the data, plus have social platform integration where students can share their results with each other (something like facebook profiles)

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